Company Name: Nature’s Sunshine
Costs: $40 product purchase
What Is It
A MLM focused on health and wellness, with a large product range and an emphasis on herbal supplements.
The large product selection from Nature’s Sunshine does make it seem like an appealing company, but it still has all of the challenges of a MLM. That includes not one but two complicated commission schemes and the standard emphasis on recruitment. While the product selection makes the company better than many MLMs, members still face an uphill battle in making money.
Nature’s Sunshine is a health and wellness focused MLM – one of a large number of similar MLMs.
One funny thing about the company is that they don’t really say all that much about what makes them better than anyone else. For example, the statement below comes from their purpose page, which is basically their mission statement. Honestly, the statement doesn’t really say anything.
In fact, most aspects of the company seem to be pretty similar to all the other health and wellness MLMs.
Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, health and wellness is a big market for a reason – there are a lot of people out there wanting to improve their health. The real question is, what does Nature’s Sunshine bring to the table that makes it stand out? After all, if you are going to sell their products, you need some kind of selling point.
One key advantage with the company is that it offers a large product range. For example, the company offers 28 products starting with ‘A’ on its site. That’s more than the entire product range of some MLMs.
The company is even more transparent than most about what is in its products, listing the ingredients in multiple places and even providing the label for its products. To be honest, I’m pretty impressed by this, as most similar companies go to great lengths to provide as little information as possible.
On the site itself, the company does also place a significant emphasis on its products, which is always nice to see. They are transparent about pricing and what the products contain – giving people the information they need to make decisions.
How The Products Compare
One of the best approaches that any company can do is to sell products that cannot be directly compared with competing products. Doing this makes it much harder for users to work out whether they are getting a good deal or not.
That is certainly the case with health and wellness products in general. Every brand uses slightly different ingredients and has products that are different combinations of ingredients compared to other brands. For example, this is one of the products from Nature’s Sunshine.
Even if you look at the ingredients list, it’s pretty hard to compare this product directly to others. After all, there probably isn’t another product out there with the exact same ingredients.
Yet, at the same time, it’s hard to know how many of the ingredients are actually beneficial. That’s really how these companies can be so successful – because the people buying the products only really have the hype to go off. They don’t know whether the product actually does anything or not.
The company does claim to have scientific backing behind their products, but it’s hard to know just how far this claim extends. Certainly, some degree of scientific knowledge is needed to make supplements in general, but it’s hard to know whether scientific or profit considerations win out overall.
On average, Amazon reviews for the products are pretty high, with many people claiming that the products work and work well.
However, reviews like these should be taken with a little bit of caution for two reasons. First, people have a tendency to convince themselves that products work. Second, people reviewing the products haven’t necessarily tried products from other companies, so they don’t know whether the products from Nature’s Sunshine are the best quality or the best price.
Nevertheless, the reviews for the products do suggest that most users are happy with them, which is an advantage when it comes to promoting the products.
One unusual thing about the opportunity is that you can actually sell the company’s products within a retail store. This is something that most MLMs don’t allow, but Nature’s Sunshine actually promotes and supports the approach. While this won’t be relevant for most potential members, it is a useful approach for people who actually have retail stores.
Another unusual thing about the company is that it offers two different membership and compensation plans: Classic and Legacy membership.
Both types of plan let people earn commissions from sales and from the people they recruit. In fact, the company doesn’t make it all that clear why there are two plans, and the differences between them are subtle, but significant.
In particular, the plans offer different levels of commissions. The classic plan lets you earn 12% commissions on sales that you make, 4% commissions on sales in the level below you (i.e. people you recruit), 2% on the people below them and then the rate varies depending on your rank in the company.
The legacy plan offers lower starting rates, but lets you earn higher rates for the levels further down the chain. Theoretically, this means that on the legacy plan you have the potential to earn more money. However, that’s only the case if you can get a big enough group of people under you to make the difference evident.
Beyond this, the compensation plan is about what you would expect.
The company offers a range of ranks going from Member all the way to Global Elite. The higher you go up in these ranks, the more commissions you can earn and the more potential bonuses. Near the top you end up with the bonuses that the company is heavily hyping, including exotic trips and a car payment.
However, going up the ranks isn’t an easy process and it involves meeting a number of requirements. These requirements are related to your own performance, the performance of your team and also the way your team is structured and the earnings in different parts of that structure.
In general, the requirements get more complicated as you go up the ranks – making the higher ranks extremely difficult to actually attain. This is the challenge of MLMs in general. They look great on paper, but actually succeeding in them is a whole different story.
Sales And Recruiting
MLMs tend to overstate the potential of direct marketing and understate the challenges. Direct marketing gives you the potential to use your relationships and your personality to sell to people.
Direct marketing does has its advantages, but it also comes with a fair share of challenges. For example, taking advantage of relationships generally means that you end up trying to sell products to family and friends – who generally aren’t pleased with the idea.
Many people actually find that trying to sell through direct marketing ends up losing them friends. After all, most people don’t like being manipulated into trying to buy something.
Now, the products from Nature’s Sunshine do seem relatively decent and the company has a large selection, so this is certainly an advantage when it comes to sales. However, there are still some pretty major challenges when it comes to making sales.
A big one is competition.
Health and wellness is a very big industry. I have reviewed many different MLMs that promote similar products, and on top of that there are all the companies that sell products at grocery stores and specialty stores, as well as all the online sites that offer this type of product. This is true for health and wellness in general, and it’s even true if you only consider supplements.
To make matters worse, you end up competing with other distributors to try and get sales. This includes distributors from this company and from others. Even if you really believe in the company, people probably won’t be interested in another MLM pitch if they have already heard several.
That is true if you are trying to sell the products or if you are trying to recruit into the company.
Price is also a challenge when it comes to selling products.
I’ve seen better and worse prices for supplements in the past, but one of the biggest issues here is that you can buy many of the products from Nature’s Sunshine in other places. For example, this is the pricing for one of their products through the actual company:
That isn’t too bad for 100 supplement pills, but you can also find the same product on Amazon.
In this case, it is cheaper to buy the product on Amazon than to buy it as a member from the company. Now, I’m sure that buying from the company is safer and a better idea in general. However, most potential customers are going to be looking for the cheapest price possible.
In terms of products, Nature’s Sunshine does offer a decent range and the products do seem appealing. But, don’t assume that it will be easy to earn money because of this. Like many MLMs, this company has a structure that makes earning money complicated and you face considerable competition in trying to sell products or recruit others into the company.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
Health and wellness is a huge industry, and if you are into that – all the more power to you. However, joining a MLM like Nature’s Sunshine to promote that type of product is a bit like shooting yourself in the food, because there are so many conditions and criteria involved in actually being successful.
MLMs like to think that they offer this wonderful way to make money, but really, you can do the same thing on your own without having to rely on this type of company. The best way of doing this is through your own website, using a process called affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing, you get to promote products that you are interested in – ones that are actually competitive. There is no upline or downline and no complicated ranking system. Instead, your potential to make money depends on you, not the people you recruit. Overall, it is an approach with much more long-term potential and one that isn’t hard to get involved in. All you need is a website.
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